Who Killed Coach Barry?

Status: Congress of the cow proves fatal

It's tough on the teaching staff at Hearst College. First the dean takes a bullet to the head, by his own hand or that of another, and now the basketball coach is pushing up daisies. What on earth is going on in Neptune?

Coach Coach Tom Barry could cope with not winning a conference title for six years. He could cope with the college's chief benefactor calling for his head. He could cope with All-Conference small forward son Josh walking off the basketball team. He could cope with benching his best starter for screwing up and underperforming. He could cope with the replacement player being 5'6". He could cope with watching his team lose by twenty points. He could cope with a severely autistic son.

What he couldn't cope with was contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob, popularly known as Mad Cow disease. It wasn't just the thought of the long, lingering, painful death that shook him, although the first attack was bad enough to galvanize him into action. It was the drain on the family resources, leaving his wife and two sons in penury.

A controlling, manly sort of man, he took matters into his own hands. The insurance money was to be his legacy. He made a plan to commit suicide disguised as murder, enlisting the help of his long-time friend and assistant, Coach Yeager. He left his most precious possession — his NIT ring — in his son's locker and drove up to his favorite ocean lookout. With Yeager's help, they pushed his car into the ocean before he was shot to make it look like murder by carjackers.

It wasn't a bad plan, but, then, his recent results proved that he wasn't the best of managers. All would have been well but for two unanticipated events. The first was that one of his players was on the PCH as the two coaches discussed what they were about to do. Life-long family friend Coach Yeager looked remarkably like the coach's son...(hmm)...and Mason thought it was Josh Barry. The second was that Josh, spurred by a fight with his father and the sight of the ring, followed his dad out to the lookout for a reconciliation, only to find him dead. This put him in the frame for murder.

For those in Neptune not named Mars, that's the truth — Josh killed Coach Barry and fled to Mexico. Only Keith and Veronica know that Josh is innocent but took responsibility for the "murder" to secure the insurance money.

Mystery Summary as of 3.14 "Mars, Bars"

All summaries: 3.14 3.13

Clues for Who Killed Coach Barry?